Listening to her podcast was very interesting and enlightening. She talked about philosophy of leadership in the digital context. She made me realize just how much technology impacts our society, both past and present. Leadership is obtainable for anyone who has the discipline to learn the skills and practice it in their everyday lives. I’m glad I listened to her podcast and it encouraged me to become more of a leader myself.
I have been learning in one of my other classes about how the news media stages certain events. It is mainly the public relation campaigns of affluential people who are behind this staging. One of the most popular staged events was of course President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech. Staged Media really intrigues me because it makes me realize just how powerful P.R. is and how these people can make us believe whatever they wish. I would never think that during Bush’s speech, the civilians standing so perfectly behind him were trained before the speech was publicly aired. We really need to realize that not all of what we see on the news is what it seems to be and start watching and reading everything with a critical eye.
Upon opening the link to this article, I did what I do with most other articles my classes require me to read: I skim it quickly and convince myself that I absorbed all the information. As I reached the end of the passage, I would often think to myself “Okay, what the heck did I just read?” And then I would grudgingly scroll back up and reread the whole thing (unfortunately getting distracted many times). This is often the problem with me these days and not until I read this (and I mean when I really read this the second time around) I always thought that it was a personal problem. I thought I was slowly developing ADD. I am both relieved and devastated that this is not a personal problem, that people everywhere are being so easily distracted by the face-paced world of technology. I literally do feel my brain frying into that “pancake” as described by Carr. My brain is being stretched to multi-task at incredibly high number of tasks, all the while doing poorly in all those tasks due to this multi-tasking tactic. It’s an awful habit but it is one I cannot stop. The digital world encourages us to do everything and everything fast. It’s sad that it’s not only me, that everyone is experiencing this problem. Maybe everyone also tries to convince themselves (since I do this all the time) that it is NOT a problem and it’s a good idea to develop this ADD-ness.
p.s. I wrote this post while sitting in a boring lecture all the while glancing at my phone and Facebook simultaneously. I just HAD to admit this.
In Maria Popova’s article, she examines the difficulty of being original in one’s works. I believe in the adage that “everything is a copy of a copy of a copy…” I mean how can one truly be “original” anymore? However, I do think that every piece of work, whether it be a novel or an art piece, can still be creative. Creativity is taking an idea, although unoriginal, and exploring it in ones own way. Love is such an unoriginal topic for a novel, but by taking that concept and interpreting what it means to an author, he or she can take her novel to a whole other level, completely different than what is out there already. By taking an unoriginal thought and expressing it in one’s own way, I believe, IS the creativity and DOES make everything unique.
Kelli Marshall explains in the article “Laptops in the College Classroom and Creating an Environment Conductive to Learning” that most (except for those few exceptional ones) students tend to become distracted if they use their laptops in the classroom. It was surprising to read that one professor has gotten as far as banning laptops, along with many other distractions, from his class. I think Professor Allitt was smart in doing so.
I think I am some sort of oddball. I never was tech savy and only signed onto Facebook when I found out I had to have some way of connecting with long-distant friends. I skipped signing onto other social media sites before Facebook, such as Xanga and then MySpace. I’m pretty old fashioned and hate updating my phone (getting the IOS7 is still a regret of mine) and can never get into the hype of all the new phones that Apple and Samsung seem to be spitting out every second. With this being said, even I have to admit I simply cannot focus in class if I were on my Mac. Being the grandma that I am with technology, I still get so easily distracted with a personal screen in front of my eyes. It’s like “Oh hey, I can check Facebook and the teacher won’t even notice so…why not?”
For the first two years of my college career I would get into the habit of bringing my Mac to class. Soon afterwards, my test grades plummeted and my GPA was becoming an embarrassment. How did this happen?! I was a straight A student in high school and now I’m seeing C’s on my grade book! I soon realized that when I had my Mac with me in class, none of the words of my professors went in my head. I would sit in Chemistry but my mind would be focused on gifs from Tumblr. I knew I had to stop this.
This year, I simply gave up bringing my Mac to classes (except for Creative Writing of course). I started taking notes and actually participating in class and gained much more interest in what my professors have to say. It really is a good idea to not go on your phone of computer in class since it is an inevitable distraction. However, to ban it out right is a bit extreme. I feel students should just learn this lesson on their own, especially when their grades drop and they realize they have to get rid of this bad habit.
As I read Miller’s article “The Coming Apocalypse,” I couldn’t help but wonder who exactly is reading our posts and blogs on the Internet. Many times in the article, Miller posts the question of who the audience is for the articles that students write in their classes. I thought about that and started wondering the same thing. But it’s not just the works of students; people everywhere believe that the growth of the Internet gives them a voice. However, how affluent can their voice be if no one is reading their writings? This thought is loosely connected to the Miller article, but it concerns me. Is the Internet making us as affluent as we thought? It is true that the Internet provides a free medium for anyone in this country to voice their opinions, but what use is this space if our blog will never be known to the people? I mean, how often will our personal blogs be the first few hits on Google that most people will click on? The infrastructure of the Internet makes me question just how loud our voice is and who exactly is our audience in the world.
I also agree with the point Wolf is making in the article “Learning to Think in a Digital World.” Although technology is greatly beneficial in some aspects such as connecting people together and sending out information faster, it also has its downfalls. Our generation is unique because I feel we lived through that period where technology blew up so big and so quickly. We experienced both the world of the dial-up Internet and house phones that still had cords attached and the world of the touchscreen phones and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I personally felt the change my mind works as we went through this transitional period. I remember the time before I had Facebook and Tumblr where I can focus on an actual book for hours without my mind wandering. I would be able to focus on a task without having the temptation to check my phone. Now, it is almost impossible for me to stay focussed on reading for class when I have the ability to access the world right on my smartphone. It scares me how drastically technology can make me think in a whole different way. My mind becomes easily distracted and I would become bored with things that aren’t fast-paced. I feel this change because I knew my mind never worked like this before this digital boom. It concerns me because children nowadays won’t even know what it feels like to not be connected to the world 24/7. They won’t know that peaceful feeling of living a quiet life where your entire group of friends don’t know what you are up to all the time.